Content Marketing has been a buzzword taking off in recent years. What is it, exactly? To some extent, it depends upon whom you ask, but, today, it generally refers to off-site search engine optimization.
What Others Say:
James O’Brien of Contently, writing a piece for Mashable, gave an excellent overview of what it is when he wrote:
When we talk about “content marketing,” we mean the creation of storytelling material that attracts readers, viewers and listeners to a brand.
Content marketing is not an ad on a billboard or a one-page spread in a magazine. It doesn’t have to be a commercial on cable television or the 28 annoying seconds before the start of that next YouTube hit.
The idea central to content marketing is that a brand must give something valuable to get something valuable in return. Instead of the commercial, be the show. Instead of the banner ad, be the feature story. The value returned is often that people associate good things with — and return to engage with — the brand.
The Content Marketing Institute summarized this way:
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
Some say content marketing represents a departure from the marketing of old, in that the brand/company is not creating or driving demand. Rather, through carefully crafted content (stories and/or videos), these companies are building relationships with existing or potential potential customers, delivering relevant information to help them make informed buying decisions.
Content marketing is for everybody. Do you sell shoes? How valuable would it be for someone to visit your site and read “5 Things You Need to Know Before Purchasing Your Next Pair of Shoes”? Do you sell pools? What kind of help would a blog post about “3 Tricks to Lower Pool Maintenance Costs” be to someone? Are you a physician? Chiropractor? Massage therapist? How much value would a potential customer find in a blog post like this: “Do This One Thing to Make Your Next Visit a Success.”
Do you see what is happening here? You are providing valuable content to the public. In turn, you are developing a sense of trust with them. This will help convert website visitors into customers.
This field of marketing is not new, it has just been renamed. The heart of it can be summed up in one word: Storytelling. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring the impact a story can have. All of your marketing strategies, including content, will cultivate and qualify future customers.
A blog (learn more here) with regular and routine posts can serve as a foundation for a strategic, and profitable, content marketing campaign. We can help you come up with a plan. Let us know how we can be of assistance by clicking here.